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Richmond Hill senior apartments nearly ready
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Construction is nearing completion at Ashleigh Place, an affordable senior-living apartment community set to open next month in Richmond Hill. Future residents took a tour of their soon-to-be homes on Wednesday, Aug. 19. - photo by By Paul Floeckher

JoAnn Stockman was impressed by a tour she took last week of the new Ashleigh Place senior-living apartments in Richmond Hill.

“This is so nice,” Stockman said as she walked through some of the second-floor apartments and a commons area.

And Stockman, who plans to move into one of Ashleigh Place’s one-bedroom apartments next month, hasn’t even seen the finished product yet.

The complex, designed as an affordable-housing option for people age 55 and older, is on track to open in mid-September, according to the developers.

“Just looking at it right now, it’s beautiful,” Stockman said. “So that means, when it’s finished, it’s going to be gorgeous.”

Ashleigh Place is off Timber Trail Road at the entrance to Richmond Hill Plantation. Renters are ready to move into nearly all of the complex’s 80 units — 24 one-bedroom and 56 two-bedroom apartments — and applications will be taken for a waiting list after capacity is reached, according to property manager Ayana Middleton.

Ashleigh Place is being developed under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and state tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Rents are targeted to single people who earn no more than $24,600 and couples who make no more than $31,620.

“It meets a need for affordable housing,” Middleton said. “A lot of (seniors) say they have so many medical expenses as well. When it all boils down, their income is not all that it could be.”

Stockman, a widow with grown children, lives in an apartment complex in Savannah. She acknowledged feeling a little out of place, though, because nearly everyone else who lives there is considerably younger than she is.

Born and raised in Savannah, Stockman is moving to Richmond Hill for one reason — an apartment at Ashleigh Place.

“This apartment is going to bring me (here),” she said. “I wanted to find some place for me. I want to be here with people my own age and people that I can relate to.”

Stockman also was drawn to Ashleigh Place’s amenities.

The complex includes a library, computer area, fitness center, elevators, arts-and-crafts room and community garden.

“We have a lot of unique things that you don’t see in all senior-citizens buildings,” Stockman said. 

“I’m very excited about the seniors having a nice community with a lot of amenities that they can use,” Middleton added.

Another benefit will be wellness screenings through a unique partnership with Armstrong State University.

ASU nursing students will visit Ashleigh Place at least once a week and use Bluetooth technology to measure residents’ weight gain or loss, oxygen use, sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Martha Hudnall of the Humanities Foundation, the co-developer of Ashleigh Place, told the soon-to-be-residents on the tour that the telemedicine program is one-of-a-kind among senior-living communities in the U.S.

“This is a pilot project,” she said. “You all are the first.”

The Humanities Foundation and James Doran Company — both based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina have developed more than 20 Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties throughout the Southeast. Ashleigh Place is their first one in Georgia.

Stockman is counting down the days until she can move in.

“I can’t wait,” she said. “This is fantastic.”

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